Friday, March 6, 2009

Scars and Forgiveness

"It has been said, "time heals all wounds". I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind (protecting its sanity), covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone." ~ Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

This is one of my favorite quotes. I have scars. There are a bunch from my bout with chicken pox when I was ten. There's the one on the back of my leg from a childhood accident involving a shoe rack. There are a few small surgical scars and various other small, insignificant ones. Time healed those wounds... healed them well enough that it doesn't even cause me pain to touch the scars that cover them.

I have other scars too. Ones that can't be seen. They tie my stomach in knots, make my head spin, leave me fighting to catch my breath as if I had the wind knocked out of me. These are the scars that cause me grief. They will never fully heal. I picture myself old and decrepit, hobbling around my house with the physical pains of age... and those pains being overpowered still by the emotional wounds of a young woman. This young woman, completely ignorant of the "red flags" all abusers wave, who walked... no RAN... headfirst into a relationship with a sociopath.

These awful wounds were not caused by this man. They weren't caused by any of the horrible things he said or did. I feel no shame about HIS actions. I have healed enough to understand that his actions speak NOTHING of me. They speak VOLUMES about him and the kind of person he is. The wounds he inflicted upon me cause me discomfort at times, but no real pain.

What does cause the gut-wrenching anguish are the choices I made... and the fact that my children, my BABIES, carry the scars of my choices. They had NO CHOICE. I let them down. I didn't protect them. I didn't fight for them. I allowed someone else to use manipulation and control to dictate my actions. I wish I could take it all back... I wish I could have gotten my head on straight and DONE something at the time. God, what was I thinking? How could I have fucked up so badly?!

It's been almost ten years... I'm still having such a difficult time forgiving myself. Why is it that I've managed to forgive HIM, forgive my mother for her part in the whole thing, forgive the lawyers and the social workers who were "just doing their jobs", and I still haven't been able to forgive ME?

Obviously, I don't think I deserve it. Forget about whether or not my children will forgive me. I don't deserve their forgiveness. I pray that their lives will be happy and full despite MY choices.

"Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past." ~Unknown

Another one of my favorite quotes. I suppose I should stop working on the time machine in my closet.


Boy Mom said...

Big hug! There is no past there is no future, there is only now. Right now I'm thinking that this is a beautiful post.

Suz said...

Shirlyn, I love your words your thoughts and you. You amaze me. Thank you.